[LINK] Media Release: Call for Australian Standards to be free to Australian

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Sat Dec 1 08:48:41 AEDT 2018

On 30/11/18 2:14 pm, Stephen Loosley wrote:

> ... prices ... buy Australian and International Business Standards as
> excessive, unsustainable, and unfair to Australian business. ...

Yes, the issue with access to standards is similar to that for academic
publishing. Volunteers, supported by their employers (and in many cases
publicly funded), write the documents which are then sold by a
for-profit company. The organizations which supported the development of
the documents have to then pay for copies.

There are proposals for Open Access to academic research. I
suggest the same should apply to standards. This would include the
Australian Government, and its agencies, requiring as a condition of
funding that standards are published free online. Also any new
legislation which requires the use of standards should only use ones 
freely available.

I propose the Australian Parliament conduct an inquiry into access to
government funded research and standards. This should include an
investigation of the commercialization of Standards Australia (SA)
publishing, and who benefited from it.

> “Fifteen years ago, the distribution of Australian Standards was 
> privatised. ...

While working for the Department of Defence in the 1990s I was on a
SA committee helping to develop standards, later I represented the 
Australian Computer Society at some SA meetings. I became increasingly 
concerned about the standards processes. In the early 2000s decided to 
stop having any further involvement with SA:

"As an individual IT professional I believe that SA's inability to make
standards free and freely available online makes their standards process
unworkable. ... I will not be participating in any further SA or ISO
standards making, instead I will be using open access standards bodies
and recommending my colleagues do likewise. I will not be supporting
future funding for ISO or SA."


Tom Worthington, MEd FHEA FACS CP http://www.tomw.net.au +61(0)419496150
TomW Communications Pty Ltd. PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Prof. Standards Legislation

Honorary Senior Lecturer, Computer Science, Australian National
University https://cecs.anu.edu.au/research/profile/tom-worthington

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